- Minister for Tourism, Sport and Major Events
In a major step towards levelling the playing field in Victoria, the 2020 Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race series will for the first time offer equal prizemoney for elite women and men.
The Deakin University Elite Women’s Road Race will also become the first race in the Southern Hemisphere to be sanctioned by the UCI Women’s WorldTour when riders lead out from the Geelong waterfront on February 1.
The Andrews Labor Government is a proud supporter of the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race, the two-wheel carnival that showcases the world-renowned tourist trail for which it is named, as well as Geelong and the Bellarine Peninsula.
Acting Minister for Tourism, Sport and Major Events Marlene Kairouz welcomed the women’s race elevation and the prizemoney reform after confirmation by cycling’s world governing body, the UCI, in Europe overnight.
The elite women’s race was previously a stand-alone UCI 1.1 classified race but will now open the 2020 UCI Women’s WorldTour.
The news comes on the back of the Labor Government’s recent announcement that the 2020 Cadel Evans Ocean Road Race program would expand from three days to four days – from Thursday, 30 January to Sunday, 2 February.
The elite Towards Zero Race Torquay is on Thursday, followed by the Family Ride on Friday and then the Deakin University Elite Women’s Road Race on Saturday and the men’s Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race on Sunday.
The Government is helping to grow tourism along the Great Ocean Road by supporting events including cycling’s Amy’s Gran Fondo, the Apollo Bay Seafood Festival and surfing’s Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach.
The Great Ocean Road region hosted 245,000 international visitors in the 12 months to March – up 10.9 per cent.
The Festival of Sails, Victorian Open golf tournament and Queenscliff Music Festival are among events that helped draw just under 62,000 international tourists to Geelong and the Bellarine Peninsula in the same period – an increase of 11.4 per cent.
As noted by Acting Minister for Tourism, Sport and Major Events Marlene Kairouz
“Women’s sport is absolutely booming in Australia – whether it be Ash Barty, Hannah Green or Sally Fitzgibbons, women are kicking goals in every field and we look forward to seeing our best cyclists out on the road.”
As noted by Member for Geelong Christine Couzens
“This is a real win for Geelong and can only bring more cycling enthusiasts and tourists to our beautiful part of the world, which helps keep our economy ahead of the pack.”
As noted by Member for South Barwon Darren Cheeseman
“This is a landmark announcement for elite women’s cycling and there could be no greater place to stage this historic event than along our world-famous Great Ocean Road.”